the schmooze
Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Michael Rubens Bloomberg is an American magnate (“magnat”), politician (“politiker”), and philanthropist
(“bal-tsdoke”).  He’s CEO and owner of Bloomberg L.P.

Shown below is a Yiddish guide to this famous New Yorker:

“geburt tog” (birthdate)
Feb. 14, 1942

“eltern” (parents)
Bloomberg was born in a rather humble (“anivesdik”) family in Brighton, Boston, MA.  His father, William, was a real estate agent.  His mother’s name was Charlotte.  His grandfather had immigrated from Russia and was a Jew.

Bloomberg grew up among very few Jews in Medford, Mass., but his family maintained some tradition (“traditsyes”), such as keeping a kosher kitchen and attendance at Hebrew school.

“br mtsuh” (Bar Mitzvah)
Bloomberg had a bar mitzvah but neither of his daughters had bat mitzvahs.

“kolej” (college)
Bloomberg graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Bachelor’s in Science in Electrical Engineering.  He went
on to do his MBA at Harvard.

“khasene ghat” (married)
In 1975 Bloomberg married Susan Brown, a woman from Yorkshire, United Kingdom.  He and Brown had two daughters, Emma and Georgina, and were divorced in 1993.

As of 2010, Bloomberg was living with former New York State Superintendent, Diana Taylor.  Taylor is not Jewish.

“rileyshanship” (relationship)
The headline of the New York Daily News, Sept. 22, 2014, was as follows:

  Michael Bloomberg jokes that he returned to his
  company to ‘avoid talking feelings’ with girlfriend.

Celeste Katz wrote, “Relationship expert to the stars,” Gilda Carle said Bloomberg’s Monday remark—made to an audience of financial power brokers—is typical of so many men who are workaholics, they run from feelings, and this kills their relationship in the end.”
Note:  Taylor did not immediately respond to a News inquiry.

“raykh” (wealthy)
Bloomberg’s net worth as of 7/24/16 is $47.6 billion.

alma mater
Bloomberg served as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at his alma mater, Johns Hopkins University from 1996 - 2002.

 “sud gezelshaft” (secret society)
Bloomberg is a member of Kappa Beta Phi, a secret society, best known for its Wall Street chapter that is made up of high-ranking financial executives.

“shayekh-valn” (re-election)
Bloomberg assumed office as the 108th mayor of New York City on Jan. 1, 2002.  He won re-election in 2005 and again in 2009.

“voynort” (residence)
During his term as mayor, Bloomberg did not live in Gracie Mansion, the official mayoral residency.  Instead, he resided in his own home on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.  He owns additional homes in London, Bermuda and Vail, Colorado.

“balanst bujet” (balanced budget)
Bloomberg describes himself as a fiscal conservative because he balanced the city’s budget.

“seykhl” (rationale)
Bloomberg supported same-sex marriages with the rationale that “government shouldn’t tell you whom to marry.”  Bloomberg officiated City Hall’s first gay wedding in marrying off two of his advisers in 2011 at Gracie Mansion.

“bupkis”/“bobkes” (nonsense)
Seth Lipsky wrote (, “Could Michael Bloomberg become the first Jewish president?  News that Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, is taking a new look at throwing his hat into the ring, is certainly a tantalizing turn of events.  One report has it that it is His Honor (the customary way one refers to American mayors) is prepared to precipitate a billion dollars of his own money into an independent candidacy.  For Bloomberg this is bupkis.”

“bukh” (book)
Bloomberg wrote an autobiography, with the help of Matthew Winker, titled, “Bloomberg by Bloomberg.”

“terorist” (terrorist)
[re:  times of crisis]  “This was something I learned as mayor of New York City after terrorists tried to detonate a car bomb in Times Square, I went to a restaurant there the following evening for dinner—and invited the world to join me.  When terrorists plots to attack the city’s subway emerged, as they would from time to time, I made sure to be seen riding to work, as usual—and encouraged New Yorkers to keep doing as well.”

“sashi hekherung” (social promotion)—in schools
Bloomberg was opposed to social promotion, stating that students should be promoted only when they are adequately prepared for the next grade level.”

“tselularer telefon” (cell phone)
Bloomberg strengthened the cell-phone ban in schools.

“veykh trinken” (soft drinks)
“svitand” (sweetened)
Bloomberg attempted to ban the sale of large (more than 16 ozs.), sweetened soft drinks.

“nani” (nanny)
The New York Times featured an image of Bloomberg’s face superimposed on an elderly female body wearing a dress and scarf, with the title, “The Nanny,” and the tagline (“tagleyn”), “New Yorkers Need a Mayor, Not a Nanny.”

“khiumanateryan” (humanitarian”)
Barbara Walters accepted a humanitarian award from the former Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2014.  Walters explained that once on her ABC-TV show, “The View,” her female co-hosts were given a choice of three men to marry.  Walters settled on Bloomberg, the New York Mayor.  Her reason?  “This man is so brilliant, so much fun, he can make things happen—and he’s filthy rich.”
  (Source:  “Barbara Was Kvelling—Walters, Not 
   Streisand,” Tim Boxer, The New York Jewish Week,   12/27/14)

“neytik beyz” (necessary evil)
“Taxes are not good things, but if you want services, somebody’s got to pay for them, so they’re a necessary evil.”  (quote)

“shul” (synagogue)
Bloomberg endowed his hometown synagogue, Temple Shalom, which was renamed for his parents as the William and Charlotte Bloomberg Jewish Community Center of Medford.

“avord” (award)
In 2013, Bloomberg was chosen as the inaugural laureate of the Genesis Prize, a $1 million award to be presented annually for Jewish values.

“narish shalus” (stupid questions)
Bloomberg doesn’t like stupid questions.  In 2013, he said he wouldn’t hold press conferences anymore if he kept receiving “stupid questions” after reporters asked him about the mayoral election.

“smouking” (smoking)
“rge hänt roykh” (secondhand smoke)
Bloomberg banned smoking inside all New York City restaurants and bars, which went into effect in 2003, to protect New Yorkers from secondhand smoke.

“kalorye” (calorie)
Bloomberg introduced calorie counts on restaurant chain menus and implemented letter grades on city eateries.  He waged a war against salt (“zalts”) in restaurants and packaged foods.

“ganz” (guns)
“I don’t know why people carry guns.  Guns kill people.” (quote)

“oytomobile” (automobile)
Bloomberg said in a 2012 press conference, “Cyclists and pedestrians and bus drivers are as important, if not, I would argue, more important, than automobile riders.”

“kurts mol” (brief time)
“During my brief time in Israel, I met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barat.  I thanked them for standing with us after the Sept. 11 attacks and offered my strong support for their actions in response to the attacks by Hamas.  Every country has a right to defend its borders from enemies, and Israel was entirely justified in crossing into Gaza to destroy the tunnels and rockets that threaten its sovereignty.  I know what I would want my government to do if the United States was attacked by a rocket from above or via a tunnel from below; I think most Americans do, too.”
  (quote.  Source:  “Why I Flew to Israel” by Michael R.  Bloomberg, 7/23/14, Bloomberg View.  Editor of story:
  David Shipley.)

“gast tsu ishral” (visitor to Israel)
Bloomberg was a frequent visitor to Israel during his tenure.  In July of 2014, Bloomberg flew off to Tel-Aviv on El Al.  He claimed flying to Israel remains safe even though U. S. and European carriers have halted flights there.  “I’m not trying to prove anything.  I’m just trying to show that it’s safe, and a great place to visit, and Israel has a right to defend its people, and they are doing exactly what they should be doing.” (quote)

“frayhayt” (freedom)
“Like Israel, New York City’s history has been defined by immigrants who come in search of freedom and the opportunity to build a better life.  And, like Israel, New York City has remained a target for terrorists who seek to destroy that freedom.”  (quote)

“rasist” (racist)
Bloomberg was chastised in the press for his remarks on candidate Bill de Blasio’s campaign methods.  When asked to explain why he said he considered de Blasio’s campaign “racist,” he explained:

“Well, no, no.  I mean he’s making an appeal using his family to gain support.  I think it’s pretty obvious to anyone watching what he’s been doing.  I do not think he himself is racist.  It’s comparable to me pointing out I’m Jewish in attracting the Jewish vote.  You tailor messages to your audiences and address issues you think your audience cares about.”  (quote)

“endorsmant far shayekh-vain”
(endorsement for re-election)
Bloomberg will endorse Hillary Clinton in a prime-time address at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.  He is expected to speak on Wednesday, July 27, 2016, the same evening as President Obama and VP, Joseph R. Biden, Jr.  FYI:   He endorsed Mr. Obama for re-election in 2012.

MARJORIE WOLFE loves the following Bloomberg story, although it does NOT necessarily refer to Michael M. Bloomberg:

Ol’ Mrs. Greenblatt is patiently answering the census takers questions—except one, her age.

“But everyone tells their age to the census taker,” he complains.

“Oh.  Yeah!  Did my neighbor, Mrs. Itti Bloomberg tell you her age?”


“Well, I’m the same age,” she snaps.

“As old as Mrs. Bloomberg,” he writes on his form.”
  (Source:  “Torah With a Twist of Humor” by Joe Bobker,
  2004, Devora Pub.)


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
two books:
yiddish for dog and cat loversbook
"Yiddish for Dog & Cat Lovers" and
"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
Trivia."  To order a copy, go to her

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